Langley Rugby Club player Thomas Maki carried the ball through a wall of Richmond players at one of several Alumni Day matches. Richmond won 15-10. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times.

Rugby the way it used to be: Langley club alumni remember

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, former players gather at field

The game of rugby has changed a lot since David Secord started playing 50 years ago.

“It’s not as rough as it was,” said Secord, a member of the very first Langley Rugby Club team.

“In our games, you’d turn around and there would be a line of players lying on the field and [from that] you could tell which direction the ball had gone,” Secord laughed.

Doug Hughes, a member of the same team, said the changes have been for the better.

“It’s faster [with] a lot more ball movement,” Hughes said.

Secord and Hughes were among many former players who attended Alumni Day at the club on Saturday, April 13.

When the club was formed, games were played on borrowed fields in borrowed uniforms, they recalled.

“We played on a high school field,” Hughes said.

“Our jerseys were football jerseys. We didn’t have a lot of money.”

Secord recalled an abrupt transition into the sport.

“My football coach said to me I should play rugby, so I came out [one] day to watch and he stuck me in the game,” Secord said.

“Then I went to see the men’s team play on the weekend and I played in that game, too. I went from not knowing rugby, to being on the men’s team, all in a space of two days.”

Secord and Hughes joined four other former members for a photo with their original team picture.

For Alumni Day the club hosted a series of games, including two that pitted the two Langley senior men’s teams against visiting clubs from Richmond and Kamloops.

Richmond ended the season for the Langley Division 3 men with a 15-10 loss, while the Division 2 team obtained a spot in the provincial semi finals by defeating Kamloops 23-14.

READ MORE: VIDEO: ‘Respect All, Fear None, Expect Victory.’ Langley Rugby celebrates 50th anniversary

Alumni Day was part of a series of events held to mark 50 years of play at the club.

Langley Rugby Club chair Brian Anderson said there are plans for a June 1 gala that is expected to draw former players from overseas.

“We’ve had lots of players from new Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and England,” Anderson said.

Since the Langley Rugby Club was founded in 1969 , it went on to purchase and develop the playing field that has been the club home for almost 30 years.

Today, the club runs many teams including minis (5 years and up), junior boys and girls, women, and two squads of senior men.

Langley Rugby Club has won several league and provincial championships and many Langley Rugby players have gone on to play for regional, provincial and national teams.

The club motto is “Respect All, Fear None, Expect Victory.”

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David Secord and Doug Hughes. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Some members of the 1969 Langley Rugby Club had to pose in borrowed football jerseys. David Secord is in the front row, first on the right, while Doug Hughes is third from the right in the back row. Courtesy Langley Rugby Club

Langley Rugby Club player Leo Edward tangles with a Richmond opponent. Several matches were held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club, which held an alumni day for former players. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Courtesy Luke Dahl

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